Victims of 2008 Mumbai terror attacks honoured in multi-faith peace prayer in Durban
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Durban: Victims who died during the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks - from November 26 to 29 - in India were honoured at a multi-faith peace prayer in Durban on Sunday.
The event, at the amphitheatre on North Beach, was hosted by the Indian Association of South Africa (IASA) together with social and faith-based organisations. It strived to promote peace among people of all religions worldwide.
“Terrorism is a threat to the entire humanity. That means we have to bring people from all walks of life to and from different ideologies, faiths and ethnic and linguistic groups to speak in one voice against terrorism,” said Amit More, president of IASA.
He said that sometimes, in the face of unimaginable horror, sorrow and evil all people could do was pray.
“Many prayers thus begin with the phrase svasty astu (may there be peace). Therefore, we pray that the entire universe be blessed with peace and hope.”
Professor Anand Singh, of the Hindu Dharma Association of South Africa, added: “We are trying to reach out to people from every religion, to say let us live harmoniously and in coexistence in ways that will prosper this world.
"Let us act against unnecessary attacks that destroy innocent livelihoods. It is time that we unite in all our respective places and confront these terrorist forces meaningfully.”
Narend Singh, an IFP MP, said terrorism was difficult to distinguish from other forms of political and violent crimes.
“The lines between these different forms of violence are often blurry. But with this, one can deduct that there is clearly a lack of unity on even defining these growing phenomena in our societies across the globe.
“To me, a simple definition would be that any destructive act committed against one party over the other - where one believes their values and humanity is more superior over the other - should be regarded as an act of terror.”
Singh said people should choose peace and unity.
Anitha Harriran, who attended the public event, said: “Seeing that there are so many terror attacks around the world, I thought that I should come and pray that everyone comes to their senses and strives to live for unity."
Another attendee, who declined to be named, said it was important to co-exist peacefully.
“At the end of the day, the similarities outweigh the differences and it all boils to one thing. We are all human and we all have a right to life. No race or group is superior than the other. I stand against these terror attacks.”
He said he prayed for the families of the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks, adding that he hoped they received closure. Other than the Mumbai incident, there have also been reports of terror attacks in France, Austria and Mozambique.